7/18/2012 12:10:13 PM -
Good morning distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press.
As you are all aware, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) in our press conference dated June 12, 2012 gave the Mills - Mahama government an ultimatum of five working days to carry out the following;
- Arrest Dr. Kwabena Duffour
- Arrest Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu and
- Dismiss Ebow Barton Oduro, or incur the wrath of the Ghanaian taxpayer through series of demonstrations. This conclusion was based on the fact that, by their actions and inactions these senior members of the NDC government under the guise of payment of judgment debts had fashioned out a grand scheme to enrich themselves by stealing from the people of Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, weeks have gone by without action from the NDC government. We are therefore here today to reaffirm our unbridled commitment to the July 31 WONKY3NDI demonstration as was announced a week ago. We are poised and rightly justified to resort to mass action because the Mills-Mahama government has demonstrated that the language it understands best is mass action. The recent Kokompe demonstration and the results thereafter are so fresh to be forgotten.
WHY THE WESTERN REGION
Ladies and gentlemen, it is no secret that the western region is the most endowed region in terms of natural resources. This invariably makes the region extremely important within the context of national development. As a nation, the gains derived from cocoa alone are testament of this fact, as the region is the highest producer of the commodity. In spite of this, there is a yawning gap between the levels of development and the benefits derived from the region as a country. What has been the region's share of the national cake? It has been promises upon promises, forgetting that these are not substitutes for purposeful plans and action. So whiles we perfectly agree with the old cliché that the best comes from the west, we cannot say same on what goes to the west.
Again, we have chosen the region because it is the home of Ghana's new found wealth (oil). As you all will bear witness to, the discovery of oil in commercial quantities under the former government has brought in its wake high expectations from the locals as associated with oil economies. The challenge for us as a country is therefore to ensure that prioritizing and implementing social protection systems for the most vulnerable does not play second fiddle to the payment of judgment debt tainted with corruption as we are currently witnessing under the Mills-Mahama government. Thus the choice of the region is to draw attention and also propound the grievances of the locals to government, so the western region does not end up as another Niger Delta.
JUDGMENT DEBT PAYMENTS VS THE UNDER DEVELOPMENT OF THE WESTERN REGION
Ladies and gentlemen, though the very nature of our governance process makes the issue of judgment debts inevitable at some point, AFAG is completely disgusted by the prioritization of the Mills-Mahama government in servicing non-existent debts to largely cronies of the NDC administration at the expense of bettering the lot of the Ghanaian taxpayer. A typical example is the GHC51Million gift to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome under the guise of judgment debt. AFAG finds as ironic, that government will indulge in such recklessness and confidently bang all of its hopes on some USD3.0billion Chinese loan. After more than a year of the USD3.0billion Chinese loan promise, AFAG wishes to ask the people of Western Region, 'NA SIKA NO WO HE'?
Ladies and gentlemen, AFAG is hopeful that our demonstration here in Tarkoradi will help address this anomaly and also bring to the fore the following;
- The fact that the Tarkwa, Bogoso ,Prestea and Yamfori roads have been abandoned in spite of the fact that the NDC government inherited a secured amount of USD 350 million from the American Exim Bank sourced by the Kuffour led NPP government for the project and confirmed by the western Regional Minister in Parliament last year.
- The fact that the Asankragwaa- Enchi road has also been abandoned even though the previous NPP government secured an EU grant of 73 million Euros for the project and confirmed by the Regional Minister last year in parliament.
- The fact that the local economy has become so bad that farmers cannot afford the high cost of fertilizer in the cocoa growing areas thus endangering their livelihood. As of 2008, whiles the price of a bag of cocoa could purchase 7 bags of fertilizer, as of now the price of a bag can only purchase 4.
- The fact that current mismanagement of the fertilizer sector and the cocoa mass spraying exercise has thrown the 'Ampem and 'Empanfa' system away. A system which hitherto aided the cocoa farmer in getting some regular source of income way ahead of the major crop season.
- The fact that the fisher folks along the coastal areas in the region cannot afford the high cost of outboard motors and fishing nets which were readily available at subsidized prices in 2008. Currently these implements are even not readily available to those who can afford because it is controlled by NDC apparatchiks with no idea of managing such a non partisan industry.
- The fact that pair trawling is still here with the fisher folk. A phenomenon the NDC promised to deal decisively with while in opposition.
- The fact that fishermen on the high sea become victims of the brutalities of expatriate oil workers at high sea.
- The fact that the management of premix fuel has been left in the hands of known NDC activists who in turn makes it available to their fellow party folks.
- The fact that we do not have sufficient local content in the emerging oil sector as required by law.
Ladies and gentlemen, the solution to the problems stated above will in no doubt alleviate the suffering of the people of the Western Region and the nation at large. If as a country we can spend over USD400.0 million in the payment of fraudulent judgment debt, then we have no excuse to fail the people of this region, who have already suffered enough. We are hereby calling on all of you to join us in your numbers to send clear signals to the Mills-Mahama government, that all is not well with the Ghanaian.
Finally, AFAG is challenging the Western Regional Minister to come forward on behalf of his region to state otherwise the aforementioned.
Thank you and God Bless you All.
Bright Acheampong 0545230621
Davis Opoku Ansah 0244861593
Williams Agyei 0262208956